Yesterday, I returned to the classroom . . . sort of.
I volunteered to "guest teach" in Casey's preschool classroom. I arrived around 10:30am, with my bag of "stuff." It included the book The Wide-Mouthed Frog, a bunch of small green paper bags, googly eyes, pre-cut and curled red strips of paper to look like tongues, and fuzzy green balls. This was for making frog puppets. The kids were just finishing up their snack (tortilla chips and refried beans or bean dip of some kind-- blech!). Casey is certainly his mother's son when it comes to snacks. He won't eat for the sake of eating. I watched as he carefully carried his loaded plate and half-full cup to the trash can and dumped them out. And apparently he hasn't been finishing his lunch at school lately. I personally think it's because he is holding out until Jason picks him up so they can eat the food together on the way to pick up Marcie.
When I arrived, Casey asked me where Marcie was-- he looked so concerned. I explained she was with Grandma so we could have some special time together at school. I think he was disappointed. He likes showing off Marcie to his classmates, especially Brooke (who loves all babies) and Katelyn (whose name Casey pronounces as Kaywin).
Anyway, yesterday was rainy, so the kids had an abbreviated play time-- during which they ran three laps around the playground while screaming. It sounds potentially irritating, but it wasn't. It was cute.
After playtime, they all came in and sat on the multi-colored mat for circle time. One of the boys offered Casey his red bumpy circle, but Casey didn't want it. I reminded him to say, "No thank you," and he did. I read the Wide-Mouthed Frog book three or four times to the kids. It's a pop up book that I first heard as a joke in college about a wide mouthed frog who hops around, meeting other animals and offering up that he is a wide-mouthed frogs who eats flies. Then he asks what the other animal eats. At the end of the story, he hops up to an alligator and the alligator tells him he eats wide-mouthed frogs. The frog makes his mouth really small and says "Oh, pleased to meet you," or something like that-- and hops away. I think it's hilarious. But the humor is kind of lost on 3 and 4-year-olds.
After we read the story, we sang the Little Green Frog song. I love this song. It begins with opening and closing hands and the noise "MM-- AT!" And when you say the "at" part, you have to open your mouth and stick out your tongue. It looks very silly, and every time I made the sound, Tuan and Casey burst into laughter at me. They couldn't even really sing the song, they were laughing so hard. Glad I could entertain them.
Last, the kids worked on the frog puppets, which are now hanging from the classroom ceiling. Three year olds don't really get the whole "copy the sample" thing. Most of them put the tongues across the frong of the bag. But I guess what can you expect from toddlers, eh?
It was a lot of fun. I'm really glad I got to spend the time in Casey's classrooms. One of the best parts about being home with Casey and Marcie these past three months has been getting to know his regular routine-- learning about his friends and feeling a part of what goes on in his life. It's not that I was unaware before, but I was mainly the calendar-keeper, and my role primarily consisted of shuttling him from therapy appointments to doctors appointments and so on. This has been a great opportunity to actually experience some of the fun of parenthood with him. To be even sillier than usual. To discover that he hates it when his shoes get wet or his pants get a drop of water on them and he insists on putting on a replacement. He really is quite a character, and he amazes me every day.
In other news, I will be posting a photo-essay later documenting Marcie's first birthday-- which was today. She got several e-cards from her friends from the orphanage where she used to live (how cool is that?!?). Today is also my birthday-- and it was so cool to share it with her today. I know it's only been about three months since we met, but I already can't remember life before her. It's amazing what depth children bring to our lives. . .